“I miss the sweet pickle relish,” he said, oh-so-sadly.
Which got me thinking: is there a healthy way to make tuna salad with a touch of sweetness and crunch?
And then I remembered the Waldorf salad.
Between you and me, I’ve always thought Waldorf salad – made of apples, celery, and walnuts in mayo, served on a bed of lettuce – sounded really yucky. It seemed that the salad was confused about whether it wanted to be sweet or savory.
The concoction was created at the Waldorf Hotel (later to be the Waldorf-Astoria) in New York in the 1890s, and it appeared in a cookbook in 1928. The salad was so popular, it was featured in Cole Porter’s “You’re the Top” from the musical Anything Goes.
You’re the top!
You’re a Waldorf salad.
You’re the top!
You’re a Berlin ballad.
You’re the boats that glide
On the sleepy Zuider Zee,
You’re an old Dutch master,
You’re Lady Astor,
I skipped the celery – ’cause I don’t like it – and added scallions and spicy mustard for extra zing. I also changed up the nuts. Dave likes cashews; I like pecans. Ta-da! “You’re the Top” Tuna Salad.
“You’re the Top” Tuna Salad
This makes enough for two hungry people.
2 cans tuna (I prefer it packed in olive oil.)
1 small apple, diced
a few scallions, green tops only, sliced thin
1 oz. pecans, walnuts, or cashews, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon mustard
2-3 tablespoons homemade mayo
salt & pepper to taste
NOTE: If you like celery, a sliced stalk would not be a bad addition.
1. Place apples, scallion tops, nuts, and celery (if using) in a medium-sized bowl. Mix well.
2. Drain liquid from tuna and add tuna to the boil. Mash with a fork to break up tuna and blend ingredients.
3. Add mustard and mayo, then mix with a rubber spatula until well-blended. If you can stand it, let the tuna salad sit for 15 minutes so the flavors can meld. While the tuna ingredients are getting to know each other, cut up some raw vegetables to eat alongside… This is also yummy served with butter lettuce leaves to make hand-wraps, or stuffed into the halves of a raw red pepper.
NOTE: To balance the creaminess with a tiny tangy bite, add 1 teaspoon of vinegar along with the mayo in step 3.
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